How to choose a walking stick

Choosing a walking stick is personal, since everybody is different and has different requirements.  Your personal preferences, circumstances will determine what type is the best for you.
We will try to provide you with a general guidance in your decision making process.

Generally walking sticks are designed to provide better stability and balance for the user, by providing a wider base of support and better posture.
They facilitate confidence when walking and facilitate some pain reduction in the spine or knees through weight redistribution.

It is very important to choose the: right type of walking stick; the handle type; the length; the weight limit. 

This information has been collected and produced in consultations with Occupational Therapists to assist with this decision-making process, to ensure that the correct walking stick is chosen so that you continue enjoying your walking activities.
Please pay attention to the weight limits stated for the walking sticks, to ensure that the intended user falls within the maximum user weight limit, to prevent accident or injury.
Please note: We provide this information only as advice and information when considering which walking stick is best for you to assist with mobility. It is important to follow manufacturer’s user instructions supplied with the walking stick. The information given is intended to be viewed as a general guideline – it is advisable to seek appropriate medical advice from a GP or Consultant or Occupational Therapists.

The walking stick Height or Length.

It's very critical for the walking stick to have the correct height for the user.  If the height is incorrect the walking stick support  and benefit for the user may be compromised.  To measure the correct height:

  • Ensure you wear your normal footwear when determining the measurement.
  • Stand near a wall for support.
  • Have someone available to take the measurements. Alternatively, use a long brush handle as a measuring guide.
  • Measure from the top line of the wrist to the floor see diagram - This is the length you will need in a walking stick.


If your mobility is dependent on the walking stick we strongly advise you to seek professional advise regarding the length, style and strength  of the walking stick you require in relation to your height and needs.

Types of Walking Sticks.

The timber or wooden walking stick are available with a variety of handles: Crook Handles, Right angled or T-Handle.  Majority of timber walking sticks are fixed length and must be cut to size to suit the user.

The metal walking sticks handles are: Swan Neck Handles and Anatomic handles.  Metal walking sticks are generally stronger than the timber and are available as fixed or adjustable height.

The metal walking sticks available in two major types:  Folding Walking Sticks are lightweight metal walking sticks with sectioned metal shafts. They can be folded for easy storage. The shafts are connected by strong elastic which runs through each of the shafts to ensure that it is stable when in its open position.
Telescopic Walking Sticks available in either aluminium, carbon fibre or steel, and are height adjustable with a variety of different handle types.

Walking Stick Handles
There are a variety of different handles available for walking sticks, including:
Anatomic handles are anatomically-shaped handles to fit the curvature of the hand allowing the pressure to be evenly spread across the palm of the hand, improving comfort and grip. These are ideal for those with painful, weak hands.
Available generally with moulded plastic handle on top of a metal shaft. (search for : 705L, 705R, 710L, 710R)

Crook handles
Less comfortable than an anatomical handle but can be hooked over the arm or chair back when not in use. Generally wooden handle walking sticks (search for : crook handle) or adjustable height aluminium with foam covered handle for extra comfort (search for: 405).

Right angled or T-Handle
More comfortable than a crook handle, and generally ridged on the underside of the handle in line with the placement of fingers. (search for: 570, 500, 580, 728, G192, G195 or T-handle)

Swan Neck Handles
Generally offset above the stick to allow for the person's weight to be evenly distributed. Often used with Quad Sticks or metal adjustable walking sticks.